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tv   The Rachel Maddow Show  MSNBC  March 22, 2010 9:00pm-9:59pm EDT

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last night those 10,000 men fell. good night, and good luck. and now it is my pleasure to introduce my very dear friend rachel maddow. rachel, good evening. >> keith, good evening, and i can't tell you how good it is to see you in that chair and to have you back. great to see you. >> thank you. thanks to you at home for staying with us for the next hour. we begin tonight in little rock, arkansas, southwest of washington, d.c. a long way both geographically and politically from our nation's capital. i can tell you what happened last night in d.c. shook the proverbial ground even here on the banks of the arkansas river. this morning i spoke at an event at the clinton school of public service here in little rock, and before i took the stage, before i was even being introduced, skip rutherford, the dean of the school, said to the crowd that what had happened on capitol hill last night was an historic vote. what followed, to everybody's
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surprise, was the entire room at 9:00 a.m. on a monday morning, roughly 1,000 people in arkansas leaping to their feet and giving a thunderous, hollering, cheering, sustained, standing ovation that went on and on and on. not for any person, definitely not for me, it was for health reform passing the house. 1,000 people. all ages, all ethnicities, a very diverse group, and i thought, does your senator know you feel this way? after decades of trying and failing, president obama and democrats achieved last night what has eluded a great many that came before them. the senate still has to pass the fixes to the bill that the house passed last night. that bill that passed last night arrived at the white house just a few hours ago. the president intends to sign that bill tomorrow during a late morning signing ceremony at the
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department of the interior. that bill will then become law. even as it awaits a package of fixes to the bill. a package that has already passed the house that is expected to pass the senate by next week. last week we speculated about when this bill's key elements would go into effect. now we have the actual bill. we have the actual language. now we know. the minute that president obama signs that bill tomorrow, you can start the clock on a whole list of benefits that come with it. you can start the clock. the minute president obama signs health reform into law tomorrow, small businesses will begin to get relief from what has been an unpredictable and yet ever-increasing financial burden of providing coverage to their employees. small businesses can start applying for tax credits to buy health insurance for their employees. are you a senior citizen? well, the minute president obama signs that bill tomorrow, you will start getting help paying for your prescription drugs. that dreaded doughnut hole that forces way too many seniors to
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pay way too high out of pocket costs for their prescriptions, that dreaded doughnut hole will finally begin to close. for seniors who already hit the doughnut hole in their drug coverage in 2010, $250 rebate checks will be on the way to you. the minute president obama signs that bill tomorrow, americans who have been deemed uninsurable because of preexisting conditions, they will finally start getting a path toward health coverage. high-risk pops will be set up for them to purchase the insurance they could never get before. as of june 21st, 90 days after the bill is signed, those high-risk pools will be up and running. the next date to mark down on your calendar, september 23rd. as of september 23rd it will no longer be legal in this country for insurance companies to deny kids coverage because of a preexisting condition. as of september 23rd, insurance companies will be prohibited from dropping you when you get sick. no more recisions. as of september 23rd, insurance companies can no longer impose
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life-time limits on your benefits. and if you have children, they can stay on your insurance until the age of 26. all of that will happen in just six months. but wait, there's more. as of the next calendar year, as of this fourth coming january 1st, insurance companies will be required to spend 80% to 85% of what they take in from you on premiums on actual medical care. if they don't, they will owe you the difference in the form of a rebate. that same day, medicare patients will start receiving free preventive care services, no co-payments, free preventive care. then, after all that, in 2014, it will no longer be legal for insurance companies in this country to deny anyone coverage based on preexisting conditions. those who don't have coverage can buy some in the health insurance exchanges that will be fully operational. with lifetime limits on benefits already a thing of the past, in 2014, insurance companies will
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not be able to impose annual limits on your benefits, either. all of those things that i just mentioned, everything there, that whole list, republicans now say they want to repeal. that's what they're saying they want to run on now. they want to run on a total repeal of that list of things i just described. the gavel had barrel dropped on the vote last night and republican members of congress were already rushing outside to announce their repeal intentions. >> starting tomorrow, we're bringing the repeal of this legislation and getting it filed and we start a discharge petition and every republican will sign it and some of the democrats will, and those that don't, you'll know who you need to be looking at in november. >> that was republican congressman steve king of iowa. he was joined last night by fellow repealer republican congresswoman michelle bachman. >> we're going to get every republican to sign it and anybody else, if we get 218
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signatures, nancy pelosi is forced to bring the repeal bill to the floor for a vote. >> true to her word today, michele bachmann introduced this. a one-page bill calling for the total repeal of the patient protection and affordable care act, a bill to reinstate the denial of insurance for people with preexisting conditions, the right for insurance companies to drop you when you get sick, even though you've been paying premiums. a bill to reinstate the medicare doughnut hole. seniors, start cutting those pims in half again. republicans think you're not paying enough for your drugs. and you 22-year-old on your parents' insurance because of these reforms, republicans are campaigning to get you kicked off that insurance. this isn't just the michele bachmann and steve king wing of the republican party, republicans right now having just lost this major fight have taken it on as a mainstream
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campaign point to try to repeal these insurance reforms i just described. republican senator jim demint saying, this bill is unconstitutional and it cannot be fixed. it must be repeopled. 2012 republican pshl hopeful and supposedly mainstream republican mitt romney saying, quote, the act should be repealed. that campaign begins today. john mccain said this. >> the american people are very angry and they don't like it, and they're going to -- and we're going to try to repeal this. >> senator mccain followed up that pledge with an e-mail to his supporters that said, quote, i believe we must repeal this bill immediately. if you agree, please open up your wallets. right next to mr. mccain's aus sten inible pledge is a contribute button. he says, i'm working to repeal the bill. your immediate donation of $25
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or more will enable me to continue fighting. are republicans really going to repeal health reform? it appears they would love to. nobody thinks they'll be able to, but will they be able to raise money off the idea of it, at least? oh, yes. yes. yes, they can. joining us now is democratic congressman barney frank of massachusetts. he is charnlg of the house financial services committee. thank you so much for joining us tonight. >> oh, i'm glad to do it, rachel. it's an important time for the country. >> president obama is going to sign this bill tomorrow. of course the senate needs to pass the fixes to the bill that the house passed last night. do you expect stumbling blocks in that effort now? >> none that can't be overcome. i any the democratic senators are determined to do it. the republicans are making a novel argument, namely that majority rule is totalitarian. it's really quite extraordinary. for most american history the
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filibuster was used rarely, blocking civil rights. it started to be this new rule that you need 60 votes to pass something. what they're talking about doing here in the senate is adopting the principal of majority rule. how that becomes totalitarian is baffling to me. the need for them to talk about repeal, i think you made it clear with that impressive list of benefits. i have to say listening to you when you were saying wait, there's more and you talk about all these things, i thought i voted for a set of ginsu knifes. i thought you'd throw that in after the doughnut hole. but once the american people experience this bill, once they see if they like the health care they have now, it will make no difference for them. those of us, inclupeople with a health care plan from their employer, unless they watch tv
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or read the paper, they will know what happened. health insurance companies will no longer be able to say you're too sick to get health insurance, which is what that means. there will be restrictions on what the health insurance companies who do. very clear, what republicans are saying, please leave your hands off the health insurance companies. they have an interesting choice of victims. last week the republican leader john boehner went to the american bankers, those poor souls and said i'll protect you from these little punk staffers, the people who work on capitol hill. so essentially people ought to understand what they're talking about is protecting the health insurance companies from a set of rules that they don't want to live by. >> it's incredible. we got new reporting just in the past hour, just a few moments ago on "countdown." lawrence o'donnell reported that the senate parliamentarian struck down the first republican effort to go after the reconciliation bill on procedural terms.
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republicans were hoping the parliamentarian would say the reconciliation bill was somehow improper. lawrence o'donnell reporting that that effort by the republicans has failed. >> let me explain what it was. reconciliation procedure, which is majority rule, can't be used to change social security. they argue you'ved this would e the economy. when you affect the economy that affects social security. of course that's a classic case of an argument that proves too much. it would mean nothing could ever be done by majority rule. they are now about to attack the parliamentarian who was very honest and straightforward guy, and one of the discouraging things has been not only that they are wrong, i believe, on the substance, but that's a legitimate debate. but you've seen these thuggish tactics employed with encouragement from some, not all, republican leaders, and that's a very disappointing undermining -- i've got to say, in massachusetts they just passed a very good bill unanimous, democrats and republicans, to try and prevent
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junior high school kids and high school kids from being bullied from the name-calling, et cetera. and that's going on in a lot of places in the country. we have suicides from young people who have been bullied. what do they see if they watched television over the weekend? adults doing the same bullying and republican leaders cheering on the bullies. >> congressman frank, were you the subject, the object i guess of a little bit of that bullying. politico reported over the weekend that when you arrived at the house chamber, somebody yelled a homophobic slur at you. >> more than one. my partner jim and i were walking, it was a nice day. we were walking from one office building to another. there was a great deal of shouting, waving of fists and signs, people getting close and yelling and a number of the comments were homophobic. >> did you feel personally threatened? what was your reaction to that experience? >> really sadness. that, because, as jim said, we're kind of adults and, you
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know, this -- i haven't got a lot of respect for these people, to be honest, so who cares what they say to me. but you have to think about it, i'm serious, this bullying in junior high and high school, it's a big problem. the vote for the anti-bullying bill, what occurs to me is there are kids all over the country watching this, not as a game, but as real life and watching respectable, so-called politicians, encouraging them on. and at this point in history we can't have a rational debate and these thug tactics are being used. >> mr. chairman i'm not in the position for apologizing for anybody else, but to the extent i can, i'm sorry that happened to you. >> thank you, rachel. and i'll take a set of knifes. >> they slice, dice and jewel yen. >> the chairman of the house financial services committee, he has been incredibly busy,
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working incredibly long hours, which makes us particularly grateful that he joined us tonight. last night bart stupak, the michigan congressman, in the end turned around and voted for health reform. what bart stupak wanted, what bart stupak got and where it all leaves reproductive rights. you might be surprised to hear it. there's new motrin pm. no other medicine, not even advil pm, is more effective for pain and sleeplessness. new motrin pm. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 that's why, at schwab, tdd# 1-800-345-2550 every online equity trade is now $8.95 tdd# 1-800-345-2550 no matter your account balance, how often you trade tdd# 1-800-345-2550 or how many shares... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 you pay what they pay what everyone pays: $8.95. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and you still get all the help tdd# 1-800-345-2550 and support you expect from schwab tdd# 1-800-345-2550 millions of investors. one price.
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tdd# 1-800-345-2550 at charles schwab... tdd# 1-800-345-2550 investors rule. tdd# 1-800-345-2550 are you ready to rule? i'm george duran and this is the hunt's crash kitchen tour. these tomatoes are not my favorite. this, my friends, is what i am bringing to the table. hunt's flashsteams every tomato to keep that backyard garden fresh taste. isn't it time to take a fresh look at your tomatoes? bart stupak of michigan tried to hi jack health reform to make abortion unavailable to most american women. he got everyone in washington to know his name, but did he get anything more than that? how it shook out for actual rights other than be bart stupak on tv. and when you consider who will be riding with you, perhaps the question is not so much whether you can afford to drive a vehicle that is built this way
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in the end, congressman bart stupak was among the 219 house democrats who voted for the senate's version of health reform last night. he did not get included in that legislation the stupak amendment, the rollback of abortion rights he managed to slide into the bill last year. the bill last night did not include the stupak amendment but did include the senate bill language on abortion, which is a very specifically-written ban on federal funding for abortion. that's all congressman stupak ever claimed that he wanted. but he's been either not telling the truth about the anti-abortion senate bill language or actively ignoring that language ever since it came into existence. but just because mr. stupak did not win on this issue does not
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mean he walked away empty handed. he did get something out of this month's long anti-abortion stunt. actually, he got two things out of this. neither one is what he said he wanted in the fers place. first, bart stupak got famous. publicly leading the effort to derail the single biggest most ambitious policy priority of his party helped get bart stupak on tv a lot. woo! and my holding health reform hostage by threatening to vote against it, along with what turned out to be seven of his colleagues, not apparently the dozen on a list in his shirt pocket, stupak did not just get the attention he appeared to be craving, he also got an anti-abortion consolation prize, maybe? >> the president has announced he will be signing an executive order to re-enforce that principal, that belief we all stood on, no public funding for
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abortion. >> congressman stupak, in other words, agreed to vote for the senate's version of health reform which bans federal funding of abortion on the sole condition that the president sign an executive order saying that the senate bill bans federal funding of abortion approximate the executive order in question affirms that the health reform bill, quote, maintains current hyde amendment restrictions which ban federal funding of abortion and extends those restrictions to the newly-created health insurance exchanges. again, the senate bill was consistent with the hyde amendment, it already banned federal funding for abortions, so in terms of policy, in terms of a practical impact, bart stupak's make himself famous abortion stunt accomplished nothing. but it's not without political consequences. president obama is, of course, pro-choice. is he only the record opposing the hyde amendment back in 2007 his campaign told hr reality check that then senator and candidate obama did not support
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the hyde amendment. he did not support the hyde amendment restrictions on federal funding for abortion. now, as president, mr. obama just agreed to sign an executive order ensuring that the hyde amendment abortion restrictions are maintained and possibly expanded. so any pro-choice progressives out there who thought they might have had help in getting the hyde amendment overturned during this presidency should consider themselves out of luck. bart stupak of course should consider himself to be someone who still hasn't disclosed who subsidizes his rent for all the years he lived at the c street house in washington. joining us, jan schakowsky, member of the pro-choice caucus. congress wam schakowsky, thanks for coming on. >> exhilarating but tiring. thanks, rachel. >> what does this order mean in practical terms? does this restrict abortion in
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this country? >> not any more than the hyde amendment does or current law does or that the senate bill does. it's kind of -- not everybody listens when you clearly explain that public funding was not in the bill. so this is like taking a highlighter and underscoring the language that was already in the bill. and the pro-choice caucus never liked the hyde amendment. we still want to address that, and we still certainly want to change the nelson language, which is the abortion language in the senate bill. but it does not further restrict a woman's access to abortion. there's some mechanical things that still need to be dealt with. the two-check issue, i think there are ways that it can be handled where it's not burdensome. but as far as the actual provisions of restrictions, they're not pass current law.
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>> does this appear to contradict candidate obama's statement about the hyde amendment when running for office in 2007? it doesn't make things practically worse but it does imply he's not going to be an ally on withdrawing the hyde amendment if that had been the pro-choice caucus's goal. >> i think there are a bunch of things we can do. i have heard that those who define themselves as pro-life are interested in doing some things like adding a fetal anomaly to one of the reasons why perhaps an abortion might be considered legal, you know right now it's rape, incest, and the possible death of a mother. so there are ways that i believe that we can expand the provisions under the hyde amendment to give more access. we needed to do this to get the votes, but let me just read to you, it says the president has said from the start that this health insurance reform should
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not be the forum to upset longstanding press tent. the order is consistent with this principle. so i think the president went out of his way to make sure he was not codifying hyde. i now bart used that language on the floor, it does not. codify means put in statutory language, and it doesn't do that. this is still part of the regulations. and there's still absolutely room for the pro-choice caucus to move ahead. >> i don't like to get too caught up in the process and in protocol and in manners in washington. i think we in the press tend to read too much into that. but with that caveat, i do want to ask you, if the white house consulted with you and with the pro-choice caucus about what it was doing or if it just worked this out with congressman stupak and the other anti-choice members, the reason i'm asking of course, the people who are pro-choice in this country are wondering if pro-choice members
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are getting disrespected by the white house, if they're getting the access that their numbers indicate they should. >> you're right about the numbers, if the stupak language had been in the bill, we think about 50-plus members would have absolutely said no to health care reform. so they did have to listen to us, and what they did yesterday seems a million years ago, yesterday morning, was to put in our hands at the very same time that bart stupak saw the language, the proposed language that the white house had for the executive order. so we were in one room with a lawyer from the white house. they were in another room with a lawyer from the white house discussing what the language was. so they didn't see it before, so there was no negotiation with the white house before. we each saw that language. diane degette who is the chair of the pro-choice caucus, she's an attorney, and so we certainly had the firepower on our side as
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well. and while we did recommend some slight changes, none of those changes were a deal breaker, and we felt that at the end of the day, getting the votes to pass this incredibly comprehensive and historic bill, you went over all the wonderful things that it does, was worth it. but by no means stopping the pro-choice members from our strategizing to move forward. >> congressman jan schakowsky, democrat of illinois, strong supporter not only of choice but of health reform. congratulations to you for what you've been able to do in your house and thank you very much for staying up and talking to us. >> thanks, rachel. >> so, hey, health reform passed. that sentence is a cue for some people in this country to start throwing bricks through windows. there's some ugly stuff that has happened as health reform passed in the house and in response apparently to health reform passing the house. you probably will not have heard what we are about to report. stay with us.
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this weekend, as health reform chugged slowly into the estimation after 60, 70, 100 years of debate, some folks in the country decided that debate is not for them. they decided they preferred to make their views known by force, threats of force and intimidation. bricks were thrown through two democratic offices of louise slauthder and over the weekend
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of the democratic party headquarters in rochester, new york. no one was injured. a similar incident took place in arizona, at 2:40 a.m. last night, a few hours after staff left for the night after the vote, an alarm went off at the tucson, the glass panel was smashed in. a spokesperson set it was unclear if the glass had been shot out with a pellet gun or kicked or smashed with an object. no one has claimed responsibility for any of those attacks. meanwhile, inside the house of representatives, things got pretty ugly as well. >> those who are shouting out are out of order. >> did you hear that? baby killer. that did not come from a protester, that was from a member of the united states congress. for a while today we did not
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know who it was. but if congressman, you lie, joe wilson taught us anything, it's like you can't shriek like a toddler while the cameras are running and not get found out. so after a period of brave, brave anonymity, the slanderer in brief ultimately had to out himself. he is randy neugebauer of texas. he admitted today it was he. but he also says when he screamed baby killer at congressman bart stupak, he didn't actually mean to imply that bart stupak is a baby killer, no, no, why would you get that impression? what he meant is that health reform is a baby killer. the congressman apologized for the timing and tone of his comment. timing and tone were the least of the problems with some of the behavior by anti-health reform protesters this weekend. for example, i don't know what is good timing or what's a more appropriate tone for threatening
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to stop health reform using guns. the sign from this weekend's protest at the capitol reads, warning, if brown, meaning scott brown, can't stop it, a browning can. and in case you don't know, browning is a gun. there's a handy photo of a gun on the sign to make the threat explicit to even the illiterate. when congressman and civil right's hero john lewis arrived saturday, an anti-health reform protester reportedly shouted an epithet at him, too vile to be repeated on television. another spat on after being called the same epithet. the congressman elected to not press charges after capitol police detained the man who spat at him and took that man to the police station. as you heard me discuss earlier when congressman barney frank arrived saturday, a reporter heard protesters
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shouting a homophobic slur. despite the charm offensive who were cheered on by house republicans this weekend, house democrats chose on sunday to march through the protesters on their way into the capitol building. according to the hill newspaper, the decision was made at the last minute at the end of a caucus meeting at a nearby office building. the group walked arm in arm right up the capitol steps. right through them. unintimidated to go do their jobs. we love getting our outback dirty. because it seems like the dirtier it gets, the more it shines. the subaru outback®. motor trend's 2010 sport/utility of the year®. hurry in to the subaru love spring event for great deals on all models. now through march 31st.
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health reform has passed. president obama will sign it tomorrow, it will be law. what's not done is reconciliation, the 153 pages of fixes to the senate version of health reform. debate begins tomorrow after the president signs the overall bill into law. that leaves republicans one more chance to dig themselves even deeper in against health reform. sort of. actually, the only thing left for republicans to all vote against now is this comparatively small reconciliation bill to make health reform better. this is the bill that does things like taking the nebraska
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gets special treatment provision out of the legislation. you know, the cornhusker kickback, that's the thing republicans are opposing now. they are opposing taking the special treatment for nebraska cornhusker kickback thing out of the bill. which is going to make it a little harder for those same republicans to rail against health reform because of its sleazy back room deals, since they got a chance to vote to take those bills out of the deal, they instead all voted to keep them in. it's a little bit like hosting a keg party to celebrate you've quit drinking. as it gets inevitable, democratic strategy against reform is also getting wacky, as you know i'm in arkansas today where senator blanche lincoln released a statement, quote, i am pleased the house approved the senate health reform bill that i helped craft. this represents the most morally and fiscally responsible
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approach to health reform. senator lincoln is taking credit for the senate bill and she's also now pledging to vote against it becoming law, saying, quote, the reconciliation package devitzed by the house employs a legislative process that wasn't subject to the same transparency and thorough debate used in the senate. i cannot support this process. so blanche lincoln vogted for the bill in december and will now vote against it becoming law. not on its merits but because of a process concern. thus casting a vote both for health reform and against health reform. which means that of the population that cares one way or another about health care, blanche lincoln has provided exactly 0% of those people with a reason to vote for her. ta-da. joining us, chris hayes, washington editor of "the nation." great to see you. >> great to see you too. >> do senate republicans have any chance of derailing the bill? given what we've heard about the
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meeting with the parliamentarian and everything else we know about the process at this point? >> i think no. today they took their procedural shot and tried to rule things out of order vis-a-vis budget, the next step is amendments they want to propose. as long as -- remember, the amendments, because it's the senate, they'd have to pass by 60 votes, and so as long as reid can hold together, you know, 51 or even 50 democratic senators, if that's what he needs to get rid of those amendments, there's not a whole lot they can do. >> how long do you exspekt the overall process to take? one thing republicans talk about is making the process take a long time in hopes they win by wearing the other side down. >> so my understanding, and again, this is like pretty -- this gets pretty esoteric, but my understanding, there's a 20-hour clock that started running either tonight or starts tomorrow for the amendment proposing period. the people on the senate that i've talked to seem to think
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it's going to happen friday or saturday and not extend much beyond that, given -- unless there's some surprise. unless republicans, you know, come up with some brilliant plan to win over democratic votes on an amendment, but i think friday or saturday is the time frame. >> okay. on the issue of blanche lincoln, ben nelson also today saying he would vote against reconciliation, which is remarkable because ben nelson is blamed for the cornhusker kickback, and now will vote taking it out of the bill, do you understand the political logic behind. >> nope. >> say, what blanche lincoln is doing? no? >> sorry to cut you off. but no. you've alienated everyone, it makes no sense. it's going to be a polar itzed electorate in the fall, largely, and there's no way you can go to anyone and say, remember, there was this super obscure process whereby after scott brown got elected, they sent it back and there was a reconciliation side
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car? i voted against the side car. how are you going to explain that in ads? known's going to care about that. it's the totality of the bill that's going to stand up or fall. that will be slugged out in ads and in the campaign, and the notion that you could hedge your bets on the downside by taking the no vote here seems really, really dubious to me. >> chris hayes always cutting right to the chase, always a pleasure to have you on the show. thank you. >> thank you, rachel. enjoy little rock. >> i couldn't help but. thank you. coming up on "countdown," keith is back, and he's back with a special comment about the opposite of the better an ggels from the weekend. but how health reform is proving to be a clarifying moment against all the odds. stay with us. [ advisor 2 ] oh gee, i'm scared to tell you i've got this amount of credit card debt or i've got a 15-year-old and we never got around to saving for their college. that's when i go to work. we talk, we start planning.
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only one a day men's 50+ advantage... has gingko for memory and concentration. plus support for heart health. ( crowd roars ) that's a great call. one a day men's. the big difference between right and left. the reason there are two major political parties in this country, a very welcome clarifying moment coming up next.
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i come to say to you this afternoon i have a difficult moment. it will not be long, because it will rise again. how long? not long. because no lie can live forever. how long? not long. because you shall reap what you
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sow. how long? not long. forever on the thrown, the scaffold sways the future and behind it stands god within the shadow keeping watch above his own. how long? not long. because the arc of the moral universe is long. how long? not long? because mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the lord. the grapes of wrath are stored. the faithful lightening of his terrible sword. he has sounded the trumpets that shall never call retreat. for him, be jubilant, our god is
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marching on. glory, hallelujah. glory, hallelujah. glory, hallelujah. glory, hallelujah. this truth is marching on. >> that was 45 years ago today. the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. when it goes to the wide shot at the end of that, you can see where martin luther king was standing when he made that speech, right? he was on the steps of the state capitol in montgomery, alabama. the selma march in 1965 is remembered for what happened when they first tried it. when activists first tried to march to montgomery, they did not make it. now congressman john lewis was among those nearly beaten to death by alabama state troopers. that was bloody sunday, the first try to get to montgomery. then they tried again two days later and did not make it. then tried a third time and on
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the third try they did it. a 54-mile march to montgomery and in montgomery martin luther king gave the how long? not long speech on the steps of the state capitol and that was 45 years ago today. yesterday in "the washington post," that picture's article included this statement, putting our political fights against the legacy of civil rights. former republican house speaker newt gingrich said obama and the democrats will regret their decision to push for comprehensive health care reform calling the bill the most radical social experiment in modern times, quote, they will have destroyed their party much as lyndon johnson shattered the democratic party for 40 years with the enactment of civil rights legislation in the 1960s. yeah, democrats, you don't want to make another big mistake like you did with civil rights. you sure regret supporting civil
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rights, the way that worked out. he later clarified, saying what he meant was lbj was right to sign major civillbj was right, t shouldn't have supported things likes bussing or otherwise not have gotten so far ahead of the country on civil rights. i would not have expected it, but the fight over health reform is turning out to be clarifying. health reform is not civil rights, this is not a desegregation order, not a voting rights bill, not the same thing, but this is government trying to take a major step to remedy something that is wrong in the country, and we haven't done that in a long time. taxes have been cut and raised, wars have been ended and started, standards and rules have been imposed, and they have been repealed, but when is the last time we took on head jon a long-standing intractable problem that is hard to fix that was not going to fix itself? actually doing health reform is a demonstration that government is not just for show. government is for fixing problems. we have a government not just to give people shiny political
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celebrity high-profile jobs so they can win popularity contests against other people who want shiny political high-profile jobs. we have a government to work on problems that we have as a people as a one, problems that aren't working themselves out in the marketplace. government is for something. we have one for a reason. so that's why you're hearing people talk about this passage of health reform in the same breath as civil rights, as social security, as medicare. nancy pelosi used the same oversized gavel that was used in 1965 when medicare was established, not because what's happening now is medicare. it's not. not with single payer off the table, not even a public option, it's not, but it is a call back to the time when medicare was created. inns didn'tly medicare created the same year as the civil rights speech we led this off with, a time when democrats behaved in a way that made clear that they thought government could do something. the ronald reagans of the world
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though the that government really shouldn't. ronlt reagan you'll recall campaigned against medicare, saying it would be the beginning of the end of freedom in this country. >> i promise you will pass just as surely as the sun will come up tomorrow and behind it will become other federal programs that will invade every area of freedom as we have known it in this country. >> some people thought it was a good idea, some people thought it was the end of america. we're back to that clarity of conflict. supporters think the reason we elect people to government is so they can take on the big challenges. the republican budget map they have put forward as an alternative to president obama's ajinda would repeal medicare over time, would repeal social security over time, privatizing it, and they're against health reform. not a single republican vote is expected it for it now. it's clarifying, right? institute gingrich who would
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like to run for president in 2012 looks back on the legacy of government doing stuff all the way back to civil rights, and suggests there's something to regret in that legacy. all the most principled republicans and conservatives i have ever known say they relish the prospect of a big ideas debate in this country, they relish the chance to give americans a choice between their version of politics and the liberal vision of politics. through the name-calling and vie tup rags, we are finally getting down to that clear choice. do you want a goflt that does something, or don't you? when you look back at the legacy of government doing stuff, of establishing medicare and social security, and government protection of civil rights, do you regret that? or do you think that's not regrettable, that the government did right when 2 did those things? republicans are banking on the american people regretting that legacy. democrats are banking on the american people thinking we got those big things right and we
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can get other big things right, too. it's a big choice. it's never been clearer in my lifetime. hell no, you can't, or yes, we can. >> hell no, you can't. >> yes, we can. >> either we can and we should or we can't and we shouldn't. the debate has never been more clear. so are you ready? set. talk among yourselves. rgy attac. but we've got the ammunition she needs: omnaris. (troops) omnaris! to the nose. (general) omnaris works differently than many other allergy medications. omnaris fights nasal allergy symptoms that occur from allergic inflammation... relieve those symptoms with omnaris. side effects may include headache, nosebleed and sore throat. her nose is at ease. we have lift off. (general) remember omnaris! ask your doctor. in the battle against nasal allergy symptoms, omnaris combats the cause. somewhere in america... there's a home by the sea powered by the wind on the plains. there's a hospital where technology has a healing touch.
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[ engine turns over ] and when you insure both your home and car with us, we dit for even less. liberty mutual insurance. responsibility. what's your policy? so kent is in new york city, i'm in arkansas, and between here and there, a lot of people are wrong. kent, i understand you've been tallying? >> yeah, a little bit. hindsight is 20/20, which is handy when talking about all those conservatives who predicted health reform would never happen. tonight's special, crow.
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bon apetit. >> it would be good for the country if it failed. >> nancy pelosi doesn't have the votes in the house right now. >> this bill funds abortion. >> 14,000 people are losing their health insurance every day, not because of the cost of health insurance. they're losing it because they lost their jobs. >> it funds illegals. >> pelosi health care insurance bill will destroy america. >> it steals liberty. >> i think if they do pass it, the american people are never going to get over it. >> it's unconstitutional. >> it would be his waterloo. >> it kicks off lawsuits. >> this is the crown jewel of socialism, this bill. >> it spends trillions of dollars. >> it's a 40/60 shot. >> it's irresponsible. >> 40% they pass it, 60 they don't. >> it's a theft of liberty. >> we have more to fear from the potential of that bill passing than we do from any terrorist right now. >> they're keenly aware of the
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fact that comprehensive health care reform will not get passed. >> it will break him. >> we're getting full-on russian gulag. >> i think the plan is dead? >> i think it is. soviet-style gulag health care. >> and it's wrong. >> the american people are telling us, please don't pass this bill. >> all this says to me, kent, is those guys think the gulags were way more awesome than they were. >> i was wondering what the crown jewel of socialism is. sound a bit lie a monarchy. >> crown jewels. >> it's the crown jewel. >> yeah, it's like saying have been czars is very communist. >> czars are bad. >> czars, communists, do you guys know what happened? it was in the teens. >> very confusing. >> kent, thank you very much. i'm going to have some celebratory barbecue in your name while i'm here.


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